5 types of debtors: How can you get your invoice paid?

With every debt collection case I handle, I contact the debtor and try to find out why the bill has not been paid. By now, I have seen a lot of debtors. Even though every case is different, I can classify difficult debtors into 5 types. In this article I’ll explain the different types of debtors and give tips on the best way to deal with them.

The invisible person

Letters arrive at empty buildings, e-mails are not delivered, the phone is not answered and the mobile phone is constantly going straight to voicemail. The invisible person does everything to stay out of the picture. The collection of an outstanding invoice is often very difficult as a result.

With an invisible person, it’s time for us to use our super powers. We explore the invisible debtor in various ways, sometimes with the help of a reliable third party. This way, the invisible person becomes visible again and we will make them pay their outstanding invoices.

The busy business person

Letters, including registered mail, will arrive at this debtor. The phone is answered but you do not get in touch with this debtor. “The person who is in charge, is in a meeting, can I take a message?” Or “The manager is on a business trip, they will be back next week”. There is always an excuse and you never get to reach the right person.

Our advise for dealing with the busy person: do not be dismissed. Take action and do not wait too long. Often when there is a judicial process initiated, you will suddenly get to speak to the right person very quickly.

The warrior

This debtor is a real warrior. After the first warning, the reply of the debtor is often hostile and when you speak to them on the phone, they indicate that the claim is not justified. Besides, they also claim to have suffered damage through the actions of the other party, so they are certainly not going to pay.

Although it is undoubtedly not always easy, my advice is to stay friendly with this combative debtor. Ask for proof of the damage that is suffered. In most cases this is just a threat and there is no evidence at all. And such a dispute does not need to be taken seriously if there is no evidence; a judge will certainly not take it seriously.

The marathon person

This debtor is a star in winning time. They are always willing to pay but in the end they does not come through. There are vague promises and  payment arrangements made, but the full amount is not being paid. The marathon person hopes that you will forget the claim this way, so that they will eventually be left alone.

Our advice is to act quickly and communicate clearly to avoid a long drawn out process. Does the financial data of this debtor advise against agreeing to a long payment arrangement? Then don’t! Even if the debtor asks for it. Demand the invoice to be paid within a very short period.

The kamikaze

“If you want me to pay now, I will have to apply for my bankruptcy. And then you will certainly not receive payment!”. According to this debtor, you should not push to hard, because in the end you will only hurt yourself with this approach. You have to be patient, very patient.

I always ask for proof with the kamikaze debtor. If  there is no proof and no payment has been received, then we can request the bankruptcy of this debtor ourselves. Often, the debtor does not want to go bankrupt at all, despite the fact that they have threatened it. In most cases, the debtor pays in the end to prevent the declaration of bankruptcy.

More information

Do you have a debtor who is hiding or being hostile? Feel free to contact me. I will gladly help you to ensure that your debtor pays.